The Portland Timbers have named Darius Jones their 2020 Community MVP as part of Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo's program to recognize individuals for making a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Darius Yaw Jones is an African American and Indigenous Navy veteran using his life and career experience to improve the lives of Portlanders every day. Prior to the pandemic, Jones was working as a butcher at Urban Farmer at The Nines Hotel as well as running his pop-up Wishbone Kitchen. With COVID-19 effectively shutting down Portland's restaurant industry, Jones was brought in by Catholic Charities Portland to source, cook, and distribute food to those in the city who need it most. Through St. Francis Dining Hall, Jones and team serve more than 10,000 warm meals and food boxes to veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and the migrant worker communities. Jones’s work ethic, focus on community, and emphasis on eliminating food waste is an inspiration.
As a U.S. Navy veteran, Darius says, "I took an oath at 18 years old to serve those who cannot defend or protect themselves, and I carry that spirit with me today even though I no longer wear the uniform.”
Darius' work ethic, focus on community, and emphasis on eliminating food waste is an inspiration to everyone around him. He is single-handedly improving our systems and ensuring Portlanders who need fresh and healthy food receive it.
Fans throughout the soccer community had the opportunity to nominate themselves or individuals who have provided critical services, including healthcare professionals, social workers, teachers, first responders and many other essential workers keeping our communities resilient and safe.
Through the 2020 program, $65,000 will be donated to charity on behalf of each of the 26 Community MVPs representing an MLS club for going above and beyond to serve their communities during these challenging times. In addition, each Community MVP will receive a donation to a 501(c)(3) charity of their choice, a customized adidas MLS jersey and an MLS adidas 2020 NATIVO XXV Official Match Ball.
Find out more about all of this year's honorees at MLSsoccer.com and visit MLSsoccer.com/CommunityMVP for additional information.